New Evening Times editor reveals less 'aggressive' approach for hometown title

By Sarah Lagan and Hamish Mackay

The new editor of the Evening Times in Glasgow, Donald Martin, said his campaigning stance could be less aggressive than in Aberdeen, where he was editor of the Evening Express.

Martin, who is fulfilling his ambition to edit his home city newspaper, told Press Gazette: "The Evening Times already has a very strong campaigning tradition which I hope to continue and fight for and on behalf of Glasgow.

"I would imagine I would have a slightly different approach with the Evening Times than I would have had at the Evening Express.

"We were able to be a lot stronger in Aberdeen with some of our campaigns because there was very strong public disenchantment, so we could tap into that. It depends on the issues. The Evening Times is very nicely pitched at its market and I wouldn’t want to be quite as aggressive as we have been in Aberdeen."

The Express hit the headlines with its campaign about illegal travellers.

Express journalists camped out at the council car park and blocked the council chief’s parking space.

Martin, despite brushes with the NUJ and an abrasive relationship with the local authorities on his patch, is generally acknowledged to have done a good job at the Express.

During his eight years as editor he has kept a steady circulation in a difficult evening market. In the latest set of ABCs the paper was one of the best performers, down just 1.8 per cent to 56,868. The paper last week picked up an internal Northcliffe award for best sales performance for papers with a circulation over 40,000.

Prior to the Express, Martin edited the North West Evening Mail in Barrow for four years, putting on sales in a community where one in five people were unemployed or on sickness benefit.

He was also deputy editor at the Cambridge Evening News, chief sub and production editor at the Reading Evening Post and group editor at Thames Valley Free Newspapers. His first editorship, at 24, was at the Edinburgh and Lothians Post free weekly.

Martin succeeds Charles McGhee, who is now editor of The Herald in Glasgow. The Evening Times was down four per cent to 81,393 in the last ABCs.

Martin’s deputy at the Evening Express, Damien Bates, is tipped for promotion.

Harness Back with McGhee 

Janette Harkess, who was acting editor of the Evening Times, will rejoin Charles McGhee as deputy editor of The Herald. She replaces Joan McAlpine, who quit in the wake of McGhee’s appointment, but is expected to continue her relationship with the paper in a writing role.

At The Herald, McGhee has reorganised his senior editorial team. Melanie Reid is promoted to number three — overseeing features and the magazine, while Alf Young becomes assistant editor in charge of comment and analysis.

Martin joins McGhee and David Dinsmore of the Scottish Sun as the third new editor north of the border since Christmas. A fourth will be appointed shortly to replace Iain Martin at Scotland on Sunday. Ian Martin is moving south as an assistant editor at the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph.

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